Today NASA released an official statement confirming that the first soil samples gathered with Curiosity's new instrument do not contain a rumored "earth-shaking" discovery.
[More from Mashable: 10 Brilliant Photos of the Moon and Jupiter]
The world was abuzz last week after Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger's interview with NPR led to reports that the rover's latest soil samples contained a groundbreaking discovery. But as Mashable first reported earlier this week, those reports were just rumors.
"Rumors and speculation that there are major new findings from the mission at this early stage are incorrect," NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory stated via press release. The agency said it will go into more detail in a press conference on Dec. 3 at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
[More from Mashable: Space Weather Forecast System Could Cost $2 Billion]
The news conference will be an update about first use of the rover's full array of analytical instruments to investigate a drift of sandy soil. One class of substances Curiosity is checking for is organic compounds -- carbon-containing chemicals that can be ingredients for life. At this point in the mission, the instruments on the rover have not detected any definitive evidence of Martian organics.
Grotzinger's original quote during the NPR interview about Curiosity's data being "one for the history books" was taken out of context. What he was actually referring to was the rover's mission as a whole will further our knowledge of Mars, making it a historical endeavor.
While today's data release doesn't contain a major discovery, that doesn't mean there isn't one in the rover's future. Curiosity is only a few months into her two-year mission on Mars.
"Curiosity’s mission is producing a unprecedented volume of valuable science data," Grotzinger told Mashable on Tuesday via email. "Much of this will help us better glimpse the very ancient environments of Mars, that are regarded to have been the most habitable in the planet’s history. We have only just started on this journey back in time."
BONUS: See Curiosity's First Tracks on Mars
First Curiosity Tracks: Closeup
The rover takes it first cruise on the Martial surface.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
- Science, Social Science, & Humanities